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Page last updated at 07:16 GMT, Monday, 2 March 2009
Today: Monday 2 March 2009

PLEASE NOTE: We are unable to offer transcripts for our programme interviews. Today is broadcast live and the running order is subject to change.

The banking giant HSBC is to announce plans to raise billions of pounds by issuing more shares. And research suggests community sentences risk losing credibility because courts are being too lenient.

Unions are urging ministers to set up a multi-billion pound fund to subsidise workers' wages in a bid to help British industry. The call comes as the Engineering Employers Federation predicts that over 140,000 manufacturing jobs will be lost this year. Stephen Alambritis, of the Federation of Small Businesses, and Welsh Assembly member John Griffiths discuss how the fund would work.

A new report into the use of Community Sentence Orders and Suspended Sentence Orders suggests that they are not working as an alternative to custody. Report author Richard Garside, of Kings College London, discusses the effectiveness of community penalties.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

A report by The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the University of Durham is warning that Britain's birds are being driven northwards - and to extinction - at an accelerating rate because of global warming. Ruth Davis head of climate change at the RSPB discusses the consequences this will have on British wildlife.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet

Medical care for the armed forces is exemplary on the front line in Iraq and Afghanistan but is failing to meet basic standards back at home, according to a review published today. Maureen Burton, who led the report, and Ministry of Defence minister Kevan Jones, discuss the criticisms levelled against the Defence Medical Services.

Today's papers.

Was cricket originally a Belgian game, brought over by basket-weaving immigrants from Flanders? A John Skelton poem from 1533 suggests the game has Belgian origins. Cricket historian David Firth and Dr Heiner Gillmeister, of the department of English at the University of Bonn, discuss whether cricket could be less quintessentially English than previously assumed.

Thought for the day with Reverend Joel Edwards - International Director of Micah Challenge.

International donors are meeting in Egypt to discuss efforts to rebuild the impoverished Gaza Strip. Britain has promised an additional 20m to help with reconstruction on top of the 10m the government has already pledged for the region. Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen reports from Gaza and Sir Nicholas Young, chief executive of the British Red Cross, discusses problems of funding and access facing aid agencies in Gaza.

There has been a major breakthrough in stem cell science. New research has developed methods which avoid the use of dangerous viruses to reprogramme cells, one of the main health risks associated with previous techniques. Professor Sir Ian Wilmut, of the Medical Research Council, discusses the implications of the breakthrough for medicine.

Handel is widely considered to be a national treasure. But an article in the Independent claims that although he had talent as a composer, much of his work was churned out to appeal to the masses. Jessica Duchen, who wrote the article, and conductor Harry Christopher discuss Handel's legacy.

Europe's largest bank HSBC is expected to announce a plan to raise 12.5bn through a new rights issue. The bank is to ask investors to buy more shares in a bid to strengthen its position. HSBC Group Chairman Stephen Green discusses the bank's situation.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

School Secretary Ed Balls has called for a review into the use of admission lotteries to allocate children to English secondary schools. Councillor Vanessa Brown of Brighton and Hove City Council discusses the fairness of the lottery system.

Gordon Brown has vowed to forge a 'global new deal' with Barack Obama when he meets the new US president for talks in Washington this week. Former foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind discusses the future of the special relationship.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Harriet Harman has suggested that "the court of public opinion" has deemed it unacceptable for former RBS boss Sir Fred Goodwin to claim his full pension. Gordon Brown has also denounced the former banker's pension entitlement saying it is unacceptable. Andrew Rawnsley, of the Observer, and Peter Kellner, of the market research firm Yougov, discuss whether government action is increasingly determined by public opinion.

An Australian surfer has been attacked by a shark off the coast of Sydney in the third attack of its kind in recent weeks. Sydney correspondent Nick Bryant reports on a possible increase in shark attacks off the Australian coast.

A book detailing replies to the key questions in science and religion is due to be launched at The Royal Society. Reverend Dr John Polkinghorne, a former professor of physics at Cambridge University and fellow of the Royal Society, is publishing the top 51 responses which appear on his theological website. He discusses how religion can enter into a dialogue with science.


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